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California Indian Tribes Announce Coalition to Negotiate Tribal-State Compacts.

News & Entertainment Editors/Gaming Writers

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 11, 2003

Twenty-one Indian tribes from across the state announced today that they have formed a coalition to reopen negotiations on Tribal-State Gaming Compacts next month. The coalition includes gaming tribes operating as few as 80 slot machines and other tribes operating the maximum of 2000 slot machines, as well as non-gaming tribes that intend to enter into new compacts to establish gaming facilities.

The tribes delivered the attached letter to Governor Davis requesting the opening of negotiations. The letter emphasized the tribes' primary goal of furthering economic self-sufficiency and the need for the State and the tribes to respect each other's sovereignties. The letter also states that the tribes intend to negotiate for additional slot machines, they are ready to discuss "fair share" contributions to the State from increased revenues produced by those additional machines, and that the tribes are willing to meet and confer with local governments concerning mitigation of environmental impacts on surrounding communities resulting from future development.

Tribal Chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians, Robert Smith, located in northern San Diego County, a veteran of negotiations with both the Wilson and Davis administrations said, "I am looking forward to these negotiations because we are in the middle of an expansion and could use more slot machines than the 2000 we now have. I think we can find enough common ground for the State and our Tribe to achieve their objectives."

Tribal Chairman of the Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi-Yokut Tribe, Mike Sisco, which is located South of Fresno, stated "When our Tribe and the State signed the Compact in 1999, we each gave our word that we would make Indian gaming work for both our people. We will enter into these negotiations with open minds and open hearts to ensure that this promise between our people is fulfilled."

Rumsey Indian Rancheria Tribal Chairperson Paula Lorenzo, whose Tribe operates Cache Creek Indian Casino in Yolo County, near Sacramento, stated, "Our Tribe is solution oriented. We are satisfied with our Compact, which has enabled us to secure our Tribe's future, but we are looking forward to clarifying ambiguities on financing and other matters so that our Compact can work even better."

Alvis Johnson, Chairperson of the Karuk Tribe located in Siskiyou County, which does not yet have a Tribal-State Gaming Compact said, "We have been waiting for this opportunity for some time now and hope that these negotiations can proceed quickly, so that our Tribe can finally begin meeting the many unmet needs of our members."

John Currier, Chairman of the Rincon Band, which owns Harrah's Rincon, said, "We recognize that both our Tribe and the State have important interests at stake and we look forward to meaningful negotiations."

Under the compacts entered into in 1999, either party can request that negotiations begin in March regarding the number of slot machines tribes are authorized to operate, as well as revenue sharing issues. In addition, the compacts authorize discussions over any other matters that both parties agree to address.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 11, 2003
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